Celebrating the Next Big Step in School with Your Kids

Edvest May

 It’s hard to believe, but graduation season is upon us and kids of all ages will be taking the next big leap in their academic journey. As a parent, it may seem overwhelming – one minute your kid is in elementary school or middle school, the next minute they’re off to college. Where does the time go? 

It’s fun and important to recognize this rite of passage by letting your child know how proud you are of them, maybe take them to do an activity they enjoy or even throw a small celebration. You can also talk to them about changes that are coming and help prepare them for the next step in their education journey. 

Here are a few ways to celebrate your graduate and motivate them to keep achieving.

Talk to them about their dreams for the future.

Graduation provides parents and families with a great opportunity to discuss the future, and it’s never too early to begin talking with a child about the benefits of education beyond high school. In fact, the younger a student is, the more open they will be to envisioning the endless possibilities that higher education can provide!

If you have a kiddo graduating from kindergarten, ask them simple questions like ‘what do you dream about being when you grow up’ and use their unique interests to give examples of how higher education can help them achieve that dream. For example, if they are interested in animals, share how veterinarians and vet techs go to college to learn and study how to make animals feel healthy and playful. If you have older kids graduating from middle school, you might encourage them to get involved in extracurricular activities in high school that allow them to explore or find interests. Do they have a summer job, or did they receive graduation cards with cash? Think about starting to discuss the cost of higher education and encourage them to set aside some of their earnings or gifts for their future.

If your child is graduating from high school, they’ve likely already selected where they’ll be headed for the next two or four years, or maybe they’ve chosen to take a gap-year. Let them know it’s okay not to know exactly what they want to do right away but encourage them to learn more about themselves and help them discover interests, strengths, and passions. This 101 Career Paths for Every Personality resource can help them explore professions and think about what types of classes, programs, trainings, or majors they might want to pursue.

The most important thing you can do is keep an open dialogue about higher education throughout a child’s life, remembering to keep conversations interesting and age-appropriate.

Save for College & Career Training with the Edvest ‘529 Day’ Bonus Offer

One of the best gifts you can give to your child is a bright academic future free from a substantial amount of student debt. But with the increasing costs of higher education, it’s hard for many families and students to imagine how that might be possible. Fortunately, Edvest 529, Wisconsin’s direct-sold 529 college savings plan, has been offering families a tax-advantaged way to save for higher education for more than 25 years. Over that time, Edvest 529 has helped hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin families save for a loved-one’s education and career training.

To help even more families get started on their college savings journey, Edvest 529 is celebrating National 529 Day – recognized annually on May 29 (5/29) – by offering a special bonus contribution incentive.

Individuals who open a new Edvest account between Monday, May 22, and Wednesday, May 31, 2023, can be eligible for a $50 or $100 bonus incentive. So mark your calendars now!

  • For a $50 bonus – open an account during the offer time with a deposit of $250 or more and set up recurring contributions totaling $50 or more per month until 11/30/23.
  • For a $100 bonus –open an account during the offer time with a deposit of $500 or more and set up recurring contributions totaling $50 or more per month until 11/30/23.

More details about the Edvest 529 Day incentive can be found at Edvest.com/529offer23.

Get Family & Friends Involved in Your College Savings Effort

Many families celebrate a child’s graduation with friends and loved ones, and most of those friends and loved ones give the new graduate a gift of cash if they’re older or a little toy or book if they’re younger. What if instead, friends and family helped your child mark this important milestone by gifting to their college fund?

Perhaps one of the most beneficial features of an Edvest 529 account is the fact that once open, anyone can make a gift contribution. Using the Ugift® platform, account owners can simply invite others to contribute to a child’s Edvest 529 account. Simply share the graduate’s unique Ugift code via email or text message with friends and family for them to make gift contributions easily and securely at Ugift529.com. You can even include the Ugift code on graduation party invitations. Be sure to keep this unique gifting option in mind for other occasions, like birthdays or holidays. You can reach your goals more efficiently with help!

While a child might not be able to fully appreciate this gift right away, saving for their higher education can be the gift of a lifetime. Funds saved with Edvest 529 can be used for most education and career training that comes after high school, whether it’s through an accredited four-year university, two-year technical or community college, graduate school, or an apprenticeship program registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. Account owners can use savings to pay for qualified higher education expenses that include tuition, certain room and board expenses, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for the enrollment and attendance of a student.

The Take-Aways

  • It’s never too early to begin talking about higher education with a child.
  • Start saving for a child’s college and career training as early as possible.
  • Invite friends and family to give a gift to a child’s Edvest 529 college fund for graduation, birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions.
  • Mark your calendars to take advantage of the Edvest ‘529 Day’ bonus contribution that runs from Monday, May 22 – Wednesday, May 31, at Edvest.com/529offer23 to get a jumpstart on your college savings.

However you decide to celebrate your child’s next big step in life, also be sure to recognize yourself for the hard work and support you’ve provided for them along the way!

Edvest Wisconsin college savings plan

To learn more about Wisconsin’s Edvest 529 College Savings Plan, its investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses please see the Plan Description at Edvest.com. Read it carefully. Investments in the plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA, is the distributor and underwriter for the Edvest 529 College Savings Plan. 

Wisconsin taxpayers can qualify for a 2023 state tax deduction up to $3,860 annually per beneficiary from contributions made into an Edvest 529 College Savings Plan (married couples filing separately and divorced parents may claim a maximum of $1,930).  Check with your home state to learn if it offers tax or other benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, or protection from creditors for investing in its own 529 plan. If the funds aren’t used for qualified higher education expenses, a federal 10% penalty tax on earnings (as well as federal and state income taxes) may apply. Consult your legal or tax professional for tax advice. 

Withdrawals for registered apprenticeship programs can be withdrawn free from federal and Wisconsin income tax.  If you are not a Wisconsin taxpayer, these withdrawals may include recapture of tax deduction, state income tax as well as penalties. You should talk to a qualified professional about how tax provisions affect your circumstances.

Ugift is a registered service mark of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC. 


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